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Design with Free Software- Part One

Learn a fun, hands-on approach to innovative creature design, using freely-available, open-source software.
5.0 (1 rating)
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17 students enrolled
Last updated 7/2014
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  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
Learn to generate ideas and crush artists block.
Learn to thumbnail and design efficiently so you can avoid deadends.
Learn a method of painting that enables you to get rendering fearsome creatures more quickly.
View Curriculum
  • A copy of the GNU Image Manipulation Program (Freely Available at or a copy of Photoshop.
  • A graphics tablet of some sort is highly recommended

This course is about creatures.

Specifically, this course is an accessible demonstration of a design process that is useful right from the start. It uses only one piece of free and open source software so anyone with a graphics tablet, a touch screen or a steady hand and a mouse can begin to design creatures and characters. It is a process which is tried and true and will allow you to hit the ground running, designing creatures and making the most of your practice time, all while being fun. These are techniques that professionals use and they are specific and effective.

Too often, art instruction amounts to not much more than watching someone draw with very little insight into how to do it yourself. Have you picked up a book about drawing, painting or design and seen demonstrations that went something like this: "First draw a drawing, then paint the drawing", with no significant process or insight into how to do it yourself?

That is not what this course is, it is a step-by-step process for designing a fantasy creature (in this case, an Orc), that saves your time and allows you to move from rough, easy sketches to more significant painted pieces seamlessly and on your own time.

So if you're interested in design, fantasy monsters, gaming of any variety, or open-source software, join us in Design with Free Software. See you in class!

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone interested in character or creature design.
  • Anyone tired of art instruction that amounts to just watching someone draw.
  • Anyone who enjoys formal design processes.
  • Any fan of open-source software.
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 11 Lectures Collapse All 11 Lectures 02:07:33
Designing the Free Orc
11 Lectures 02:07:33

Making your own image board


Silhouette Exploration

Color Blocking

Separating Layers

Photo Texturing

Face Exploration

Refinement Part Two

Final Touches
About the Instructor
5.0 Average rating
1 Review
17 Students
1 Course
Open-Source Entertainment Designer

My name is Justin, and for the last several years, I've created design and illustration for the free-culture and open gaming movement. After studying at the Concept Design Academy and ACAN, I have been doing freelance illustration and graphic design for the past few years, and have contributed to free and open gaming projects, run and contributed artwork to crowdfunding campaigns for open source software such as Flare RPG, Battle for Wesnoth, 0ad and Mediagoblin.

I have released a number of collections of freely licensed artwork and designs, and hope to empower more people to create and hopefully participate in the world around them.

I'm also an amateur game-designer, coder, and history buff.

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